Construction activity in Egypt is expected to sharply slowdown in the near future due to a steep rise in the prices of building materials as a result of the war in Ukraine, an official was quoted on Wednesday as saying. 

Prices of steel and cement have recorded large increases over the past few weeks due to that conflict and malpractices by local dealers, said Abed Elahi, a member of the real estate investment committee in the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce. 

Elahi, also a member of the construction committee in the Egyptian Businessmen Association, said many local dealers have taken advantage of the Ukraine crisis to boost steel and cement prices although there are sufficient stocks in Egypt. 

“As a result of the large increase in the prices of steel, cement and other building materials, we expect sharp stagnation in the construction sector in Egypt in the coming period,” Elahi told the Egyptian Arabic language daily Addustoor. 

Elahi said prices of some building materials “jumped overnight because of the greediness of local dealers who want to make quick profits. 

“There are enough stocks of such materials in Egypt yet prices are climbing on daily basis…this could also force some developers to halt projects and inflict losses on others…if prices remain so high, the consumers will also be a victim.” 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)